“The greatest enemy of knowledge is not ignorance, it is the illusion of knowledge.”
—Daniel J. Boorstin

Merchants of Smear

cartoonManmade climate disaster proponents know the Saul Alinksy community agitator playbook by heart. In a fight, almost anything goes. Never admit error; just change your terminology and attack again.  Expand your base, by giving potential allies financial and political reasons to join your cause. Pick “enemy” targets, freeze them, personalize them, polarize them and vilify them.

The “crisis” was global cooling, until Earth stopped cooling around 1976. It was global warming, until our planet stopped warming around 1995. The alarmist mantra then became “climate change” or “climate disruption” or “extreme weather.” Always manmade. Since Earth’s climate often fluctuates, and there are always weather extremes, such claims can never be disproven, certainly not to the alarmists’ satisfaction.

Ocean 'Calamities' Oversold: Scientists Call For More Scepticism

accumulatedsmbThe state of the world's seas is often painted as verging on catastrophe. But although some challenges are very real, others have been vastly overstated, researchers claim in a review paper. The team writes that scientists, journals and the media have fallen into a mode of groupthink that can damage the credibility of the ocean sciences. It is not just journalists who are to blame, they maintain: the marine research community “may not have remained sufficiently sceptical” on the topic. --Daniel Cressey, Nature, 14 January 2015

Ocean Life Faces Mass Extinction, Broad Study Says. “We may be sitting on a precipice of a major extinction event,” said Douglas J. McCauley, an ecologist at the University of California, Santa Barbara, and an author of the new research, which was published on Thursday in the journal Science. -- The New York Times, 15 January 2015

SHOCK POLL: 57% Of Americans Say Global Warming Is Not A Threat

earnestIs this the new climate consensus? More than half of Americans say global warming is not a threat to their way of life, according to a CNN poll. Furthermore, nearly half of Americans say global warming is caused by natural forces or isn’t a proven fact.

CNN’s poll reveals that a “majority of those polled, at 57 percent, say global warming will not pose a serious threat to their way of life,” and that only 43 percent “expect global warming to threaten them.”

“Meanwhile, only 50 percent of Americans believe global warming is caused by man-made emissions, while 23 percent say it’s caused by natural changes and 26 percent say it isn’t a proven fact,” CNN notes.

Gullible Grist Goofs Again

boomRecently, I’ve made a practice of cataloging mistakes and other oddities at Grist, a website which fancies itself a source of “independent green journalism.” In this fact-checking vein, I’d like to bring your attention to a post published on Grist two days ago, whose inaccuracies are remarkable even by the site’s standards.

The thesis of the post by Heather Smith is that the “U.S. oil boom was just a fairy tale.” This would seem preposterous on its face, but it gets worse. The reporter’s “evidence” was the U.S.’s declining rig count in the context of falling oil prices; however, she evidently didn’t know what a “rig count” is. The post has since been appended with a correction, which reads as follows:

Earth’s Dominate Methane Emitter? Deep Ocean Vents and Fault Systems

methane gas bubbles from deep-ocean "cold seep" ventWhen President Obama said he will cut methane emissions from the oil and gas sector up to 45 percent from 2012 levels by 2025, geologist James E. Kamis remarked that methane from either man-made or natural sources is poorly monitored or not monitored at all. Not acknowledging that we know very little about methane emissions or their origins further promotes junk science and arbitrary restrictions.

Kamis, a regular contributor to Climate Change Dispatch, supplied the following list of geological sources that emit methane, none of which are being actively monitored:

1. Continental volcanoes as indicated in the latest MIT Study: These volcanoes also emit methane along with sulphur.

The EPA's Methane Madness

cowThe Obama administration’s attack on America’s energy sector is insane. They might as well tell us what to eat. Oh, wait, Michelle Obama is doing that. Or that the Islamic State is not Islamic. Oh, wait, Barack Obama said that.

Or that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is about protecting the environment. It used to be decades ago, but not these days.

There was a time when the EPA was devoted to cleaning up the nation’s air and water. It did a very good job and we now all breathe cleaner air and have cleaner water. At some point, though, it went from a science-based government agency to one for which science is whatever they say it is and its agenda is the single minded reduction of all sources of energy, coal, oil and natural gas, by telling huge lies, citing junk science, and generating a torrent of regulation.

India Cracks Down On Green Campaigners For Harming Economic Security

cartoonIn a twist of irony, the very country green activists are trying to “save” from global warming has turned on them for allegedly comprising its economic security. The Indian government has cracked down of Greenpeace and other U.S. environmental groups for protesting its use of coal-fired electricity, India’s biggest source of energy. Last year, India’s Intelligence Bureau issued a report declaring Greenpeace “a potential threat to national economic security… growing exponentially in terms of reach, impact, volunteers and media influence.” The report added that Greenpeace was finding “ways to create obstacles in India’s energy plans” and to “pressure India to use only renewable energy.” --Michael Bastsch, The Daily Caller, 15 January 2015

West Virginia decides to teach global warming propaganda to kids

ClassroomWest Virginia watered down an educational curriculum that dared to question the existence of man-made global warming

The State Board of Education voted 6-to-2 to withdraw its altered version of the Next Generation Science Standards, which were developed by 26 states, including West Virginia. The changes had been quietly made by a member of the West Virginia board before it adopted the standards in December.

The board voted to revert to the original standards, which emphasize the scientific consensus on human activity as a cause of climate change, and will adopt those standards after a 30-day comment period, said Gayle Manchin, the board president and wife of United States Senator Joe Manchin III.

The Times regularly calls him a "conservative" Democrat; she's probably a "conservative" Democrat, too. At least, a conservative Democrat who believes in climate change.

On Climate Sensitivity

sparklingHave you ever Googled ‘climate sensitivity’ in order to find a clear definition? I have. One can then get plunged into a jungle of meaningless verbiage, specially designed by charlatans for charlatans.

If we are to deal with language alone, there is no way that climate can be sensitive. Climate is an abstraction. Climate is supposed to be the average – that beloved word of the woolly-minded – of weather in a particular location. So there is no way that climate, an abstraction, can be sensitive.

If I were to pour a cup of hot coffee into your lap, I guess you would see the stain, you would smell the aroma, you would feel an unwelcome hot sensation in your nether regions as well as a sensation of hot dampness. That is sensitivity.

Friends of the Earth are the Enemies of Mankind

FOEIt’s such a benign sounding name, Friends of the Earth. This multi-million dollar international organization is a network of environmental organizations in 74 countries. If its agenda was adopted and enacted much of mankind would lose access to the energy sources that define and enhance modernity or the beneficial chemicals that protect food crops from insect predators and weeds.

I am on FOE’s mailing list and the most recent email informed me and the thousands of others who received it that “the oil lobby and the Republican leadership in Congress are plotting a full frontal assault on our environmental protections…” I bet you didn’t know that the Republican Party was an enemy of the environment. That’s curious because it was a Republican, Richard M. Nixon, who created the Environmental Protection Agency with an executive order!

Wheat yields in a warming world

wheatA new paper making the rounds in the mainstream media show that wheat yields will decline as temperatures increase. The part they leave out is that this study is actually based on a computer model and doesn't reflect real-world studies.

Senthold Asseng, a UF professor of agricultural and biological engineering, used a computer model to reach the finding that temperature increases resulted in decreased wheat production. It was unclear if the computer model took into account the concomitant increase in CO2 levels.

Real-world studies, however, show that increased CO2 levels have actually caused wheat yields to thrive, even when nighttime warming temperatures were increased.

Why there is no such thing as consensus science

cartoonAs noted here and elsewhere, Bernie Sanders, the socialist senator from Vermont, wants an amendment included in the Keystone Pipeline bill that asks whether lawmakers agree with the consensus science that says, "climate change is impacting the planet and is worsened by human-caused greenhouse gas emissions."

To which I say, Congress is exactly where "consensus science" belongs. Real scientists do not work under the auspices of consensus science, but rather under the scientific method. Real scientists don't give a fig about politics, and they certainly don't mix politics with science.

You're most likely to find consensus-science thinkers in academia or in science-y sounding organizations, where the majority of these "keepers of knowledge" take it upon themselves to write "position statements" on behalf of the very people doing the real work. These worker bees follow the scientific method assiduously, and if their data doesn't conform to the consensus, the consensus says "no."